By: Issue: Resource Management Section: Advisory Board
After receiving his Bachelors of Science in 1961 and a graduate degree in 1966, both in physics, from the University of Washington, R.J. (Jerry) Peterson was an instructor at Princeton University and part of the research faculty at Yale University.
Jerry's research interests have covered many arenas of nuclear physics, including nuclear astrophysics, nuclear reactions, nuclear fission, and applications of nuclear reactions to computer memory elements. These experimental studies have used beams from a wide variety of particle accelerators, often involving foreign collaborators. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen (Niels Bohr Institute), the University of Tokyo, and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is a Foreign Fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Jerry is also a member of the faculty in the UCB Program in International Affairs. His recent teaching has included classes in physics, environmental studies, journalism and international affairs.
Jerry worked as an analyst in the Office of Economic Analysis of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research for the U.S. Department of State, where he focused on energy and the environment with an emphasis on coal and nuclear energy. Based on his research and analyses, he wrote assessments, memos, and papers on the aforementioned issues and presented briefings and seminars to U.S. officials and to the associated intelligence community. Following his fellowship year, he returned to his academic career but remained available to the State Department for short-term projects over a period of five years.
Today, Peterson is a professor in the physics department specializing in the area of nuclear physics. In the past, he was an administrator in the CU-Boulder Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for six years, including posts as Assistant Vice Chancellor, Associate Vice Chancellor and Interim Vice Chancellor. He is currently chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly, the representative body of the CU Boulder Faculty.